Manpreet Singh will be the captain the team in the tournament.
Hockey India on Friday named the 20-member Indian men’s hockey team for the upcoming Hero Men’s Asian Champions Trophy which is scheduled to be held between 14 – 22 December 2021.
Defending Champions India begin their campaign against Korea. In this edition, they will battle it out against Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan and hosts Bangladesh in the single-pool tournament for top honours.
The Indian team will see Manpreet Singh captain the side along with Harmanpreet Singh who will be his deputy. The team includes goalkeepers Krishan B Pathak and Suraj Karkera. India’s defence will see Harmanpreet Singh lead the charge along with Gurinder Singh, Jarmanpreet Singh, Nilam Sanjeep Xess, Dipsan Tirkey, Varun Kumar and Mandeep Mor. With this line-up, India will have four options for drag-flick. The midfield will see Hardik Singh, Manpreet Singh, Jaskaran Singh, Sumit, Rajkumar Pal, Shamsher Singh and the experienced Akashdeep Singh.
The forward line will be led by Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Dilpreet Singh, Gursahibjit Singh and Shilanand Lakra. Talking about the selection, chief coach Graham Reid said, “While selecting this team we now must have our eyes on the future. It takes a deep and strong squad to build sustained success so players have to be given opportunities to perform.”
“We have picked a team that has a good mix of experience and younger guys who will have their chance to show what they can do. It is a hectic match schedule and given the COVID-19 situation, FIH & AHF have allowed 18 players to be chosen each game out of a greater squad of 20. The Asian Champions Trophy is a World Class event that will provide all teams with a fantastic opportunity to start the next Olympiad with the much-needed competition. We are looking forward to the challenge,” he added.
India will play their opening match against Korea on 14 December, followed by their match against hosts Bangladesh on 15 December. Their third match will be against arch-rivals Pakistan on 17 December and on 18 December India will take on Malaysia followed by their match against Japan on 19 December.
The semi-finals will be played on 21 December followed by the Final on 22 December. In the previous edition of this event held in Muscat, Oman, India had jointly lifted the title along with Pakistan as the Final was called off due to incessant rains.